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Arunachal: Lungla bird count yields 105 species

Itanagar: The sighting of around 105 different bird species in a span of just three days in Lungla, a subdivision of Tawang district, has generated a lot of buzz in the birders world besides exposing the rich biodiversity of the region.

The Lungla subdivision already has the distinction of habitating the Red Panda and Snow Leopard, a common sight among the herders.

A group of birders from Arunachal comprising of Koj Mama, Punyo Chada, Hibu Talu, Bamin Baro, Bamin Chada, Millo Tako and Dr Joram Khopey during their three-day birding tour spotted 105 birds in the Zemithang, Old Lumla and Namstering areas besides coming across several mammals including the Capped Langur, Barking Deer, Yellow-Throated Marten and Malayan Giant Squirrel.

Among the 105 birds, the twitchers were delighted to spot the Ultramarine Flycatcher, Red-headed Bullfinch, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Blyth’s Swift, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Khalij Peasant, Rufous- Breasted Accentor, Crested Bunting, Darjeeling Woodpecker among others, that too, near human habitation.

During the three-day tour, the birders also sighted a snake believed to be rare and a member of the vine snake family. The snake’s photo and video have been sent to the experts for confirmation as the birders anxiously await the report.

Meanwhile, the Women Welfare Association, Lungla in association with Arunachal Pradesh Birding Club (APBC) and Ngunu Ziro organised a homestay, photography and birding workshop at the Gakyid Zomkhall Hall on Wednesday where advisor to RWD minister and local legislator Jambey Tashi attended as the chief guest.

Addressing the event, Tashi said his constituency is blessed with rich biodiversity and has a vast tourism potential that is yet to be tapped. He urged the youths, especially the unemployed, to tap the resources and be self-reliant instead of relying heavily on the scarce government jobs. 

Elaborating on the workshop’s significance, he told the participants to implement what they learned and spread the message to others who could not make it to the programme.

The lawmaker also appealed to the gaon burahs to take a proactive role in preserving the rich flora and fauna of the region.

Perturbed by the repeated forest fires in the area, he asked the village chiefs to convince the villagers to take initiatives to stop it at the earliest for a greener environment and prevent the water table depletion caused by deforestation.  

Lungla additional deputy commissioner Tashi Dhondup said Lungla has 18 registered homestays and the successful interface between birding, homestays, and photography will go a long way in harnessing the area’s tourism potential, thereby elevating one’s livelihood.

Earlier, in a powerpoint presentation, APBC president Koj Mama showed the photographs of the birds spotted during their three-day birding tour and explained in detail the vast tourism potential the Lungla area can provide and the ways to tap it.

He credited the Airgun Surrender Abhiyan, an initiative of the Arunachal Pradesh government to dissuade wildlife hunting for the unprecedented sightings of birds in the last one year.

Lungla zilla parishad member Thupten Gambo also spoke on the significance of the workshop. Punyo Chada and Hibu Tatu of Ngunu Ziro conducted the technical sessions on homestays while Dr Joram Khope deliberated on the basics of photography.

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